A recent article that appeared in Aviation News February 21 by Becky Quick does a wonderful job of talking about the issue of taxes on airline tickets. I'm sure you have priced tickets to your favorite destination and when ready to buy, you realize that once all the fees and taxes were added up that cheap fare got kind of expensive. As the article points out some of those include cargo waybill tax, (not sure what that is), frequent flier tax, commercial fuel tax, (we all get that one), flight segment tax, 9/11 fee, (I'm sure we understand that one), and the list goes on. Now don't get me wrong - not all of these are bad. Some, such as the passenger facility charges, go back to the airport you fly out of and help us build important infrastructure to enable us to better serve you, our customer. Airport improvement fund taxes, which is included in the list of taxes, also allow facilities to do capital projects as. So, please know I'm not knocking the whole system.
The real point of the article was to say that we need to put some of the monies toward improving our air traffic control system in this country. At some point we are going to have to update a system that has been around since the 1960's. Will an additional fee be needed to do this? I guess that's a question for Congress, but to think that the GPS system in your car is more sophisticated than the system we use to navigate airplanes? Well, I guess enough said.
The next time you look at what you pay for your ticket subtract 20% and you'll have the approximate amount the airline gets. By doing that, you'll realize some of those tickets are cheaper from point A to B than they were in the 60's. Yes, air travel is really still a bargain, but with fuel prices spiking, the wise traveler might buy sooner versus latter. Happy Trails!
P.S. Pack light and save those baggage fees!